Sunday 20 October 2019, 11:40 AM
'Antony won't witness fgfa flight'
By IANS | Bharat Defence Kavach | Publish Date: 10/1/2011 12:00:00 AM

New Delhi: Defence Minister A.K. Antony will be on a three-day visit to Russia next week, but will not get a chance to witness the ambitious fifth generation fighter aircraft (FGFA) test flight due to scheduling problems, the defence ministry said Friday.

Antony will leave New Delhi for Moscow on Oct 3 and will be there till Oct 5, a defence ministry release said here Friday. His visit comes ahead of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh''s scheduled visit to Russia later this year.

An earlier release had claimed that Indian and Russian sides will discuss progress of their joint defence projects, including the fifth generation fighter, a test flight of which Antony will witness.

"The Russian side will offer a glance of the upcoming fifth generation fighter aircraft (FGFA) by holding a test flight for the benefit of Antony and his delegation," the release had said.

However, a revised release later in the evening omitted the FGFA test flight.

Asked about the omission, a defence ministry official said the release had to be changed, as Antony''s programme with regard to the test flight was yet to be finalised due to "scheduling problems."

An earlier display flight of the FGFA during the Moscow air show in August had to be aborted and the flight hand to make an emergency landing due to technical troubles.

During the three-day stay in Russia, Antony will co-chair the 11th meeting of the India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Military Technical Cooperation (IRIGC-MTC) with his Russian counterpart Anatoly E. Serdyukov.

Antony will be accompanied by a high-level delegation that includes Defence Secretary Shashikant Sharma, Secretary (Defence Production) Shekhar Aggarwal, Lt. Gen. M.S. Buttar, Air Marshal R.K. Sharma, Vice Admiral N.N. Kumar, Chief Controller of Defence Research and Development Organisation Avinash Chander, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited chairman and managing director Ashok Nayak and Director General (Acquisition) Vivek Ray.

Besides regional and global security issues, the two sides will also review the progress of important ongoing projects such as the refit of the Admiral Gorshkov aircraft carrier (renamed INS Vikramaditya), delivery of Talwar class frigates and progress on the Multi-Role Transport Aircraft.

The two sides will also deliberate upon aspects relating to licensed manufacture and maintenance of T-90 main battle tanks and Sukhoi Su-30MKI combat jets in India, the release said.

The two countries have signed an agreement for the joint design, development and production of FGFA involving the Sukhoi Design Bureau on the Russian side and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited on the Indian side.

In the run up to the IRGC-MTC meeting, seven sub-groups and two working groups covering all areas of military technical cooperation between the two countries have met and discussed a wide range of issues pertaining to equipment and technology transfer and product support.

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'Antony won't witness fgfa flight'

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